| March 10, 2008


Why has Israel, a small country with a relatively young population of nearly 7 million inhabitants, emerged as a dynamic force in high technology? For many experts and specialists in Israel, the success of this country in the high-tech field is mainly due to the influences of the Israeli Defense Forces, the country’s military industries, its military intelligence units, its research institutes and its universities. The success of Given Imaging is one such example that is linked to the Israeli model of development.


Sector: Healthcare

Industry: Medical Appliance & Equipment

Full Time Employees: 400

Operation Location: Israel, United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Japan.

Key executives:

– Mr. Nachum Shamir, 52 Chief Exec. Officer, Pres

– Mr. Yuval Yanai , 54 Chief Financial Officer

– Mr. Kevin Rubey , 49 Chief Operations Officer

– Dr. Manfred Gehrtz , 56 Pres of International Operations

– Mr. Christopher Rowland , 44 Pres of Given Imaging Inc

Given Imaging, founded in 1998, is an imaginative Israeli start-up. For many years it has been considered as the “wunderkind” of the Israeli high-tech establishment.

The Israeli biomedical company, Given Imaging, has developed a minimally invasive diagnostic tool that substantially improves visual imaging of the small intestine. It dispenses with the method of having a tube inserted into the mouth and extends down into the intestines. The technology developed by Given Imaging is a blend of IT and biotechnology.

The given Imaging Diagnostic System consists of a tiny video camera in a simple capsule to be swallowed. The Pillcam Capsule, a patented, single-use video color-imaging capsule that is ingested, glides naturally through the digestive tract and is naturally excreted.

The camera transmits digital pictures from the GI tract to a receiver fitted against the patient’s body. The resulting pictures are processed and can then be sent electronically to an attending physician anywhere in the world.

The images of the small intestine, captured by the camera at a rate of about two per second, are transmitted by radio frequency to an array of sensors on a waist-belt worn by the patient.

Approximately eight hours and 50,000 images later, the patient returns the belt and recorder to the clinic. Here, the images are downloaded onto a computer workstation equipped with Given’s proprietary RAPID™ (Reporting and Processing of Images and Data) software. This software processes the data and produces a 20-minute video of the images transmitted by the capsule as it passed through the GI tract. The doctor can then scan the video for abnormalities.
Recent advances enable the physician to localize images, detect suspected locations of bleeding, and more efficiently view and archive the RAPID videos.

The company plans to leverage its technology as a diagnostic platform for other areas of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, the stomach and the colon.

A new PillCam Capsule Endoscope for esophageal examination is in clinical trials. The system was authorized by the FDA in August 2001 as an adjunctive tool for visualizing abnormalities of the small intestine and received authorization from CE, the FDA parallel in the European Community. The system is marketed in the US and in 60 other countries.

In fact, Given Imaging’s mission is to be the global leader in providing patient-friendly solutions for gastrointestinal treatment. Given Imaging is already redefining the way gastrointestinal diagnosis is carried out. For the specialized physicians in clinics and hospitals, GI technology is recognized as the global standard in detecting disease of the small intestine, resulting in more accurate diagnosis of a range of gastrointestinal disorders.

For patients, GI’s PillCam Capsule Endoscope offers the first effective, patient-friendly gastrointestinal endoscope on the market. For the health care system and third-party players worldwide, GI offers a first-line, cost-effective, ambulatory diagnostic procedure that can save precious resources.

The technological platform of the current Given Diagnostic System and its future generations under development are covered by numerous patents and patent applications worldwide. Given Imaging’s PillCam Capsule Endoscope has been gaining recognition as the gold standard for small intestine diagnosis and is important part of the gastroenterologist’s toolkit.
The company believes that the technology will increase knowledge about previously misunderstood and often misdiagnosed diseases of the small intestine.

That is why the Given diagnostic System is a breakthrough in gastrointestinal diagnostics of traditional endoscopy and radiological imaging. To sum up, it offers the following benefits:

  • High quality color images of the entire small intestine.
  • A non-invasive, patient-friendly procedure that is easily ingested by the
    patient and does not require sedation.
  • Improved diagnostic yield in comparison to other diagnostic modalities traditionally used in GI practices for diagnosis of disorders of the small intestine, based on our clinical results to date.
  • Detailed (up to 0.1 millimeter resolution) visualization of the small intestine, which increases the possibility of locating and diagnosing small pathologies.
  • No insufflation required.
  • Convenient digital reporting, storage and remote consulting capabilities.
  • Cost-effective diagnostic tool for health care providers because it can help to avoid unnecessary and painful diagnostic tests based on a higher expected diagnostic yield and can be performed in an outpatient setting.

Source: Karen Vainunska & Yael Rosenberg

Category: Vendor products

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